I started my training career almost 20 years ago working with a wonderful young woman and her new puppy. I was so excited to have discovered clicker training that I wanted to share it with the world! And what could be better than playing with a puppy, socializing it, and yes, teaching beginning behaviors using positive… [Read More]
Welcome to Ruffly Speaking.
I hope you enjoy my blog. My goal is to get people thinking, talking and exploring a wide variety of dog-related topics. Please let me know what you think!
Dog parks, in theory, are a great idea. Dogs need to run free, stretch their legs, and play with other dogs! I have to admit that one of the biggest joys in my life these days is when my dog Shadow is racing around with one of her pals. In our central coast community with… [Read More]
When we are training our dogs, we generally use a process called operant conditioning. This is when the dog’s behavior determines the consequence. For example, the dog sits when you ask and you give him a treat. The dog sitting made the treat happen. But there is another type of learning that is often underutilized… [Read More]
Has your puppy or adult dog ever squirmed when you checked his ears? Squealed as you touched a toe? Or slunk away when you brought out the brush? If so, you are not alone. A very few easygoing dogs seem to have been born enjoying all types of touch and handling. But many puppies and… [Read More]
Our discussion at puppy class this week was all about the puppy crazies. You know, when the switch flips, and your normally sweet and wonderful pup turns into a wild, jumping, biting, running, out-of-control tornado. I totally understood why my students were both frustrated and worried. Is there something wrong with the pup? How do… [Read More]
In the past few years, I’ve notice a resurgence of outdated tools and methods used for training our dogs. Choke chains and slip leads, pinch collars, electronic collars, air horns and other tools that cause discomfort, pain, startle, and fear. I want to very clearly state that we do not use these methods at Good… [Read More]
I’m fascinated by a dog’s sense of smell. I love to play scent games with my dogs. In fact, we’ve taken scent games to the level of ultimate fun—playing find it in the house, garden and even on walks. One time a few years back, I watched my dog Chance use her nose to explore our rather weedy… [Read More]
I was leading a training class the other day that included a mildly fearful dog. The dog was responding well to cues, able to do the behaviors, and seemed to be handling the environment. But she did not seem to be having a lot of fun. Her human companion suggested she switch from food rewards… [Read More]
Do you want to get more out of your training? Here are 7 critical concepts to help you and your dog get the most out of your training sessions. Make training fun. This can’t be said too much. Start with fun. End with fun. Keep lessons short—stop before your dog wants to stop. Include lots… [Read More]
I use food in training. I use it a lot. Food can be a powerful training tool and one of the easiest ways to jump start new behaviors and reinforce (reward) your dog’s good choices. The more your dog is rewarded for a specific behavior, the more likely your dog will be able to do… [Read More]